Chances are, if you collect retro consoles you’re likely to own at least one beige-coloured piece of hardware. And the chances are that, if you’re reading this site, you own a beige Sega console. And that beige console is more than likely a Dreamcast. How do I know this? Magic, naturally, with a slight hint of mystical intuition. One of the more common problems I’ve noticed with the hallowed Dreamcast (yes, aside from the controller port fuse blowing) is that unless you keep it in the box and only ever get it out for special occasions (you know, like Christmas or a family funeral), it will eventually start to ‘yellow.’ Yellowing is what happens to lightly coloured plastic over time, where the chemicals that make up the dye in the plastic react with UV light and begin to break down, thus giving the material a tired and well...yellow appearance. And frankly, it looks shit. Add that to all the knocks and scuffs that build up over time (over a decade now, actually), and your Dreamcast can end up looking pretty sorry.
There are several remedies to this. First, you could attempt to ‘bleach’ your system’s shell as this Youtuber demonstrates...but that malarkey looks pretty dangerous to me - and besides, caustic chemicals do not mix well with hands that constantly drop cups of tea onto new carpets. Cough.
Secondly, you could spend a small fortune on one of those replacement cases that regularly pop up on eBay for fairly reasonable prices...but are located in Venezuela and so cost £30 to ship to the UK (granted, it may be cheaper to ship if you live closer to Venezuela but damn that’s expensive shipping). The Dreamcast shell is fairly easy to take apart and remove from the internal workings, so if you don’t mind spending the equivalent of a fortnight’s worth of food shopping on shipping costs, this is a fairly good way of pimping your Dreamcast.
But there is a third remedy. Enter DCJY reader Mike. He does shit like this to Dreamcasts:
|Skies of Arcadia-cast|
That right there isn’t one of those console stickers you just peel off and apply to your console - it’s a full on professionally applied vinyl coating. And you can have pretty much any design you want:
|Jet Set/Grind Radio-cast|
How is it done? I’ll let the man himself explain:
“Basically I work for a graphics and vehicle wrapping company, wrapping everything from race cars to motorbike helmets. I actually work in the finishing department. This involves cutting vinyl graphics, laminating prints, getting race car kits etc ready to fit, mounting custom graphics to Foamex and diabond panels etc.
For wrapping the Dreamcasts I first use an HD or similar quality image - this ensures that the picture doesn't look pixelated at all or blurry when upsized to fit the console. It's then down to the printing and artwork department to retouch the image (maybe change the colours slightly, resize it, upscale it etc). The picture can then be printed on cast vinyl in one of the HP Designjet L65500 printers (which are serious bits of kit), and it then comes to my department to be 'finished,' which in this case involves laminating it with some cast Arlon laminate, then trimming and applying to the Dreamcast.
Placement is key to making the console look cool (you don't want to have an image of say Shenmue where Ryo's face is half off the console), and once you've got placement sorted apply the graphics and heat around all the different levels of the console. Trim carefully around the lid etc to ensure the join looks good. Then it's just a case of popping any air bubbles and trimming the edges and recesses nicely.”
I think you’ll agree that these custom Dreamcasts look pretty damned sweet, and as any image can be applied using the technique detailed in Mike’s explanation, you could have the world’s only Spirit Of Speed 1937 Dreamcast. Or not.
If you’d like to have your Dreamcast transformed - hell, go crazy and get a top-down view of a Sega Saturn or Neo Geo printed on it! - drop me an email via the link in my profile and I’ll supply contact details for Mike and his factory of wonders.